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GAINES'S SEMINOLE CAMPAIGN.
rear of the Indians; which movement, should it succeed, it was hoped, would finish the war.
On the morning of the 29th, no Indians were to be seen; but the general did pot relax bis precautions. A party was preparing timber and canoes for crossing the river, when, about 9 o'clock, they were sharply fired upon, and, at the same time, the encampment was attacked upon every side, but that towards the river. The Indians now seemed in great force, (12 or 1500, as was supposed,) having been collecting, from all quarters, since the fight on the previous day. They continued the contest two hours, in which time one man was killed and 33 wounded. Among the latter was the general himself,—a rifle ball having passed through his lower lip, knocked out one tooth, and damaged two others. When it was found that the general was wounded, his companions expressed much regret; but he talked of it as a matter of small moment; said " it was very unkind in the rascals to take away a tooth which he valued so highly."
On reconnoitering the enemy's ground, after he had fled, Gaines's men found one of their dead, which had been dragged a considerable distance and left unburied, from which circumstance they conjectured be had fled in baste. His rifle had been taken away, but he was found to be well provided with ammunition, baving plenty of powder and sixty bullets. The place of this attack Gaines called Camp Izard.
The flight of the Indians was no security for their not appearing again ; for, on the 2d of March, they returned, and commenced pouring in their shot upon the whites, which, at intervals, they continued to do until the 5th. Meantime all of their provisions were exhausted, and they began the slaughter of their horses to sustain life. But it is said that, during all this time, no one was heard to murmur or complain.
On the night of the 5th, about 10 o'clock, a call was heard from the woods, and some one requested a parley. On the officer of the guard's demanding what was wanted, it was answered that the Indians were tired of fighting, and wished for peace. The general ordered the officer of the guard to answer, that if the Indians wished to treat, to send a messenger the next morning, with a white flag, and he should come and go in safety. He replied, “ very well," and added that “ he desired to have a friendly talk, and to shake hands.". Accordingly, on the morning of the 6th, about 300 Indians filed out from the river, and took a position in the rear of the whites, about 500 yards off. They expected nothing now but a most bloody contest, supposing the main body of the Indians to be concealed in a neighboring hammock. Both parties remained a short time in suspense, each doubting what the other would do. At length, one or two advanced within hailing distance, and, being joined with others, repeated what had been said the night before. The general now sent out to them a stafi officer, and they told him they did not wish to fight any more, but requested that the army should withdraw from the Ouithlecoochee. Osceola was at the head of the Indian deputation. When the officer who had met the Indians reported this talk to Gaines, he ordered him to return to Osceola, and to inform him, in the plainest terms, that they would be subdued, that a large force was on the way into their country, and that, unless they submitted, every Indian found in arms would be shot. When this was communicated to the Indians, they said they would go and hold a council, and would meet them again in the afternoon. The meeting in the afternoon, accordingly, took place, and the Indians urged what they had said in the morning, and added that they had lost many of their men by death and wounds, and were tired of the war; but as their governor (as they styled Micanopy) was not there, they must first consult him, and asked to have the war suspended until he could be consulted. They were told that if they would cease from acts of hostility, go south of the Ouithlacoochee, and attend a council when called upon by the United States commissioners, they should not be molested. This they agreed to, and, at the same moment, General Clinch came upon the main body of the Indians, and they all fled with the utmost precipitation, probably concluding this was a stratagem which the whites had prepared to cut them off. Clinch came with 500 men and supplies, which was doubtless more agreeable to the starving army, than even a treaty with Osceola.
The Indians seem to have been well acquainted with the condition of General Gaines's army; for, during the interview with Osceola, he asked hcw they were off for provisions, and when they told him they had enough, he shook his head, saying, “ It is not so; you have nothing to eat; but, if you will coine over the river, I will give you two beeves, and some brandy.” It is therefore surprising that he should have been now asking for peace. It shows, however, thai he was well aware of the hopelessness of his case ; and, although he was able to deal with General Gaines, he early knew of the approach of General Clinch, and it was, probably, on his gaining that knowledge, that he concluded to see what kind of terms could be got of the whites, as the affairs of war then stood.
General Gaines, having transferred his command to General Clinch, left for New Orleans about the 9 March, and General Clinch proceeded with his united forces to Fort Drane. A negro spy, who had been sent among the hostile Indians, from Camp Izard, soon after returned, and confirmed the peaceable intentions of the chiets: they told him, that in their various skirmishes with General Gaines on the Ouithlacooche they had lost 30 men. Of the whites but 5 were killed, and 60 wounded. It is rather uncommon that there should be so great a disproportion between the slain of the parties, when it is considered that the Indians almost always fought from coverts.
On the 9 March, Captain Allison of the Florida volunteers had a skirnish near his camp, not far from Fort Brooke. He routed the Indians, whom he judged to be a thousand strong, and took considerable plunder. Hence, notwithstanding the Indians were supposed to desire peace, skirmishes continued. And on the 23 March, a company of volunteers were attacked aboạt six miles from Volusia, in which the whites lost three men killed, and six wounded, and the Indians five or six. Among the latter was their chief, called Ouchee Billy, or Billy Hicks. He was found the day after the fight, concealed in some brush.
About the 5 April, Major McLemore, by order of General Scott, took a position on the Ouithlacoochee, and erected a block-house, which was called Camp McLemore. Here, about 40 men, far removed into the heart of the Indian country, were to remain until relieved by the General, or Major McLemore, who, it appears, after establishing the post, immediately left it. This small force seems to have arrived here at a most fortunate time, for it was four days before they were discovered by the Indians, and during this period they had completed a block-house for their protection.
It is scarcely to be credited that this little company of men, sent here by the commander-in-chief of the army, should be left without the means of escape in extremity of circunstances, and no way kept open by which their situation from time to time might be known; such, however, was the case, and for about six weeks nothing was heard of them. They had not been provided with provisions for more than two weeks, and it was the general impression of every one that they had all perished by famine or the hands of the Indians.
The following account of the siege of Camp McLemore by Dr. Lawrence, surgeon there at the tirne, shall be given in his own words:“We had just completed building the block-house, and dug out a spring near the edge of the fort, when, on the morning of the 9th of April, at a little before dawn of day, we were attacked by the Indians, who had encompassed us on three sides, and were in number about 150 or 200. The engagement lasted one hour and three quarters, when they found out, to their sorrow, that our reception was not only too warm, but that they had ventured too near us without due reflection. On the next day, we had one man killed on his post by an Indian rifle, fired from the opposite side of the river. On the 15 April, we were attacked by a body of the savages who had completely surrounded us, and whose number we computed at 4 to 500, though we have since heard that Powell had 1000 to 1500 of them. This was the hottest engagement we had during our stay on the Quithlacoochee. They fired their guns by hundreds at the same moment at our block-house, and succeeded in taking our only means of escape, our boat—which they took down the river and destroyed after the battle. The engagement continued two hours and 45 minutes, and we had three men slightly wounded.
“ On the 24th, we had a very severe battle, in which they displayed their
(Book IV. ingenuity by shooting fire-arrows on fire upon the roof of the house, which destroyed the roof and left us exposed to the inclemency of the weather. This arrow-firing was performed by 26 of their men, whilst about 3 to 500 used their guns. We had, on this occasion, two or three of our men wounded. We probably killed 40 or 50 of the Indians. The night after the battle, we heard their chief hail us, and say, " that he was going away in the morning, and would trouble us no more.' He kept his promise very well, though he did give us about 100 guns the next morning, ere he left. Our captain, Holloman, was killed on the 3 May, whilst endeavoring to fortify and strengthen our position. The Indians continued to give us a passing shot, from 30 to 100 guns, every five or six days, though he kept a spy upon us at other times. The officers were 21 days living on corn, without salt or meat, and the men about 28 days."
It appears that the great danger of ascending the Ouithlacoochee, together with the known circumstances of the garrison, had fised in the minds of all those who were able to lend them aid, that they had been cut off; and therefore, to hazard any thing to clear up this extremely doubtful case, was considered next to crime itself. At length, the poor distressed handful at Camp McLemore, found among their number, three that would venture out for succor, and they arrived at Tallahassee in a canoe, about the 16 April. This circumstance, in all probability, proved the safety of their fellows, as well as themselves. A company was made up at St. Marks, and under Captain Leigh Read, proceeded in a steam-boat for the Ouithlacoochee on the 22 May, and on the 24 took off the garrison without the loss of a man.
While these affairs were being transacted on the Ouithlacoochee, a considerable force marched from Volusia to a point on the Oklawaha River, distant 30 miles, on their way to Fort Brooke. The river being higher than usual, the force was obliged to halt to build a bridge for the passage of their cannon and baggage wagons. On the opposite side of a lake, on the left of the detachment, two fires were soon discovered, which it was supposed were made as signals by two parties of Indians. Colonel Butler immediately proceeded to cross over the river with his battalion, and when he had marched about three miles, some Indiang were discovered and pursued by the advanced guard. General Joseph Shelton was of Buller's party, who, being ahead of the advanced guard, charged upon one of the Indians, who was in the rear of the retreating party. At about 25 paces from him, the Indian turned, and they both levelled their rifles-Shelton fired first, and mortally wounded the Indian in the neck, who then endeavored to make his escape. Shelton dropped his gun, and rushed on him with his pistol, which missed fire at five or six paces from him. The Indian now turned and shot Shelton in the hip, and at the same moment another white came up and shot the Indian in the back, and he was immediately despatched. The ball which entered Shelton's hip passed round near the spine, and was cut out, and he was recovering.
I have been particular in detailing this affair, as the Indian who fell in it, proved to be a chief of distinction, known among the whites by the name of MAD Woff, which was the English signification of his name. In Indian it was Konahajo. He was of Micanopy's tribe, and had under him 40 or 30 warriors, and was probably one of the leaders on the Quithlacoochee, who beset General Gaines so long. His name was given in among them by Black Dirt, as Coaharjo. It is also to the treaty of Payne's Landing, and he was one of the Indian deputation who visited the country west of the Mississippi alierwards.
The next day after Kohahajo was killed, Colonel Butler and Goodwin, with a battalion of inounted men, were sent to reconnoitre Pilaklikaha, the residence of Jumper and Micanopy. When they had proceeded about six miles, their advanced guard received a sharp fire from a hammock on the left, but were soon dislodged by a charge from the main body. Two of the whites were badly wounded, one horse killed, and four wounded. After another considerable swamp-fight, in which several were wounded, the army proceeded to the Indian town, but it had been deserted for a long time. They burnt it, and then proceeded to Fort Brooke. An officer in General Scott's army at Tampa wrote on the 15 April :-“AD
the militia will leave us by the 20 May, and the regulars will go into summer quarters at this place, Key West, Volusia, Mosquito, and one or two more posts at the south. Without the greatest good luck nothing will be done this summer, and the war must be renewed in the autumn."
About the time General Gaines left Fort Draine, General Scott arrived there, with instructions to assume the chief command of the forces in Florida. Since that time the operations have been of not much importance. About the 20 March, Captain Hitchcock communicated the following valuable information respecting the hostile Indians, which was given him by the friendly chief, Black Dirt, whose Indian name is TUCK-ALUSTER HARJO. He says that in the fights with General Gaines were the following chiefs and warriors, viz.: – JUMPER with 30, AssUHOLA (Osceola) with 7, ALLBURTUHARJO with 30, JARHARTO CHEE with 30, CARCHAR TOS NUSK (Mecosukee) with 470, MECANOP (principal chief) with 80, ABRAM (Negro) with 80, WEEA FLOCKO MATTEZ with 70, YARHARHACJO with 160, TOSKIEUCAR with 50, Echua MATTEZ with 50, Har How EMATTEZ with 30, CHARLES (a Negro) with 3, COAHARJO with 1, and TOPARLAGEE with 40. There had been about 400 Seminoles collected at T pa, chie
women and children of Black Dirt's tribe, who were on the 12 April shipped off for " beyond the Mississippi" by General Scott.
CREEK WAR-Murders anu devastations begin–Eleden persons killed near Colum
bus-Mail routes in possession of the Indians- A steam-boat attacked and men killed-Chiefs of the war parties—Mail stages destroyed— The town of Roanoak burnt-Colonel Lindsay's Florida affair-Excessive dismay of the people of Georgia-Murder of families-Fight on the Chattahoochie-Capture of Jim Henry and NEAMATHLA-Åccount of the chiefs–Surrender of the Indians.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL McIntosh wrote from Fort Mitchel, Alabama, (on the Chattahoochie, 15 miles above Columbus,) 7 May last, as follows:—“ It has just been reported to me, that Col. Flournoy was shot dead by the Indians on the 5th instant, about 15 miles below this post. I am also informed that a report is currently circulating among the Creeks, that the Seminole Indians have defeated the whites in Florida. This report will no doubt imbolden them to many acts of hostility that they would not otherwise dare cominit. A constant communication must be kept up between them, as the Creeks are conversant with every transaction that occurs in Florida. Marshal, the halfbreed, says he is apprehensive mischief will be done by the Indians before long. Other friendly Indians are of this opinion. Opothleyohola, principal of the upper Creeks, says he cannot keep his people together, or restrain them."
At the same time Colonel Flournoy was killed, ten others met a like fate, some of them within 12 miles of Columbus, at the Ochee Bridge on the Old Federal Road. “ The Indians have entire possession of that road, and all the settlers have fled. A train consisting of 150 wagons, with about 150 fugitives, on their way to Columbus, were fired upon, on the 10 April."
Up to the 18 May, at Augusta, (Ga.) it was reported that all the southern mail routes were in possession of the Indians, except that to Mobile. The day before, all the mails were brought back. Colonel Crowell's plantation, and many others, had been burnt, and a stage agent and two drivers had been killed. The governor of Georgia had ordered two regiments of volunteers to take the field. About this time the steam-boat Hyperion was attacked on her passage up the Chattahoochie, and two pilots and one passenger were killed. She was then run on shore on the Georgia side, and after being abandoned, was taken and destroyed by the Indians. The Creek towns and tribes which have declared themselves hostile are a
CREEK WAR. STEAM-BOAT DESTROYED.
part of the Ochees, the Hitchetas, the Pah-lo-cho-ko-los, the So-wok-ko-los, and a part of the Ufallays. The principal chiefs who have showed themselves as their leaders, are old NEAMATHLA, of whom we have already several times spoken, chief of the Hitchetas, JIM HENRY, and Neo Mico. Many friendly Indians immediately joined the whites, one of the principal leaders of whom is a chief called Jim Boy. The war party have discovered great boldness. About the 10 May a party came within 30 or 40 yards of Fort Mitchell, a strong and well-defended place, entered the hospital, and carried off what they pleased, and the garrison thought it not best to disturb them.
On the 14 following, the mail from Montgomery to Columbus was attacked about 20 miles from the latter place. A driver on that route was riding along the road on horseback, about 50 yards ahead of the stage, when he was fired upon by about 30 Indians, yet he unaccountably escaped injury. His horse took fright and threw him, and he escaped into a thicket. When be arrived at the next stage relay, the horses had got there, but without any carriage, but had about them some fragments of their harnesses. Mr. Adams, who was in the stage, made his escape by leaping into the woods when the stage upset. A driver and two others were killed. There were 19 horses belonging to the line in the company, of which but three were recovered, and these were wounded.
About this time the old steam-boat Georgian was burnt while lying at Roanoak, and all on board, except the engineer, perished. The town of Roanoak was at the same time laid in ashes, but the citizens escaped to a fort. Irwinton, a flourishing town on the Georgia side of the river, soon after shared the same fate.
Meanwhile some affairs of considerable moment were transpiring in Florida. Colonel Lindsay had been despatched, at the head of about 750 men, from Fort Brooke, with orders to proceed to Fort Alabama, to destroy it, and bring away the sick, wounded, and provisions. Having proceeded there, and effected their object, the forces marched again for Fort Brooke. Before leaving the fort, a mine was prepared, by leaving powder in the magazine, which should explode on its being opened. They had got but a mile or two, when the mine was sprung with a fearful noise, but what effect it had produced was not known. The whites had missed two of their number the day before, whom they found on their return march, about 12 miles from Fort Alabama, killed in the way, and one shockingly mangled. While the army was contemplating this spectacle, it was fired upon by 500 Indians, as was supposed, from a hammock, no more than 30 yards off. The whites immediately formed, and fired in their turn, and a regular fight ensued. The Indians could not be dislodged until several rounds of grape shot from the artillery had been poured in upon them. This was a bloody affray for them, but their loss was not fully known; several were found dead on the field, and numerous traces of others who had been dragged off dead or severely wounded were discovered. The whites had 3 killed and 22 wounded.
A letter addressed to the editor of the Richmond Enquirer gives a fearful picture of the affairs in the Creek country. It was written at Talbotton, (Ga.) 11 May, and is in these words:—“I wrote you yesterday, informing you of the hostile movements of the Creek Indians, and the commencement of their murderous career. We have full information here to-day of the distressing state of things among the whites who have settled over in that territory. The Indians are killing all-men, women, and children. Vast numbers have been butchered without doubt; and the whole country on this side of the Chattahoochie is in uproar and confusion. The population of the territory bad become considerable, and they who have been fortunate enough to escape are come over in droves on the Georgia side; some with a part of their children; sone who have lost their children; some their husbands; and many children without father or mother; some are found as they were wandering about so young that they could give no account who their parents were. So perfect a mixture and confusion as never was witnessed before. Many have seen a part of their families murdered. One gentleman saw his father shot down near him, and his mother and sisters. Some of the dead have been brought over shockingly mangled. It is thought the whole nation is in hostile array;